Recapped’s Note: Heading into the bottom of the 8th at 9:45 CT, the skies opened up over the greater St. Louis area. Based on comments from the broadcast, and my own look at the radar, it looked like heavy rain was a-comin’ for at least the next 40 days and 40 nights. As an ET zone dweller and early riser, I opted to hit the hay and get up extra early to finish the recap. Turns out they called the game about an hour later, seeing no break in the weather sufficient enough to finish the ball game.
Ergo, the Cards officially lost, 5-3.
I wrote the recap intro a few hours before game time, as I typically do. Despite not knowing about the rainy forecast, it had a nautical theme to it, for some weird, random dog-brain reason. I sprinkled that (no pun intended) throughout the recap. Turns out, the Cards needed a bigger boat (ark?) to prepare for the deluge and remain in first place.
You’re welcome. And I’m sorry.
With Tuesday night’s win against the Brewers, the Cards sat at 10 games over .500, which felt like miles beyond 9 above. A win tonight would put them in uncharted territory for this season.
When you’re unsure of the route to get what you want, use a compass. As luck would have it (check local listings for the kind of luck you felt), Adam Wainwright took the helm for the S.S. Cardinals. He’s been the pitching staff’s compass for over a decade, albeit a regularly malfunctioning one this season. Or has it only seemed that way? He’s thrown very well at Busch, coming in with a 2.19 ERA in 65.2 IP, with 68 K, and 23 BB.
Like the navigational instrument used by his seafaring brethren Captain Jack Sparrow, Waino points to what the beholder wants most at the moment.
For tonight’s game, you most wanted Waino to swab that scalawag Crew and send them 5 leagues under the Red Sea. Sure, Waino’s performance needle has fluctuated wildly at times. But in his last two voyages, he’s gone at least 6 innings, giving up 1 and 3 ERs in those starts. Over his last 5, he’s gone at least 5 innings, allowing at most 4 ERs. Sure, shinier booty from pieces of 8 innings would be better. But that’s not bad plunder from your 5th starter.
Off the stern floated the S.S. Milwaukee.
“...And really bad eggs...”
I...don’t know where that came from.
I just went with it.
Recapper’s note: Now I do.
Adam’s compass was off all night, as he regularly hurled pitches that caught way too much of the plate. Meanwhile, the offense continued its maddening struggles, scoring only mainly due to fortunate sub-contact hits and Brewers’ fielding ineptitude.
The first two Brewers reached on cheap hits, then the cannonballs flew as Waino mis-located several pitches that the Brewers pounced on. Five hits (including a double and a 3-run homer) and a walk later, the Brewers sent the entire lineup to the plate to tally 4 already against Waino. They tacked on another run in the 4th they didn’t deserve, as a bloop single and bloop double tallied one to push it to 5-0. Adam Wainwright kept the Brewers from adding more in the 5th, which turned out to be his last inning. Ironically, it was the first one without a Brewers’ baserunner.
The Cards mounted no threats through 4, as they had but 2 walks and a single to that point. They broke through in the 5th thanks to 2 Milwaukee errors and a timely Fowler single. The Cards added one in the 6th with 3 soft hits of their own, including a well-placed Yadi double that only came off the bat at 85 mph.
Things remained scoreless through the top of the 8th, then Mother Nature said: “Meh, I’m done.”
Top of 1st
The Cards had barely weighed anchor, and trouble started. Pain in the butt really good player Lorenzo Cain sent the second offering from Waino into right for a leadoff single. Going back to his previous good game, that made 5 straight at bats in which he’s reached base. Granadal then blooped a cheap into center that even Bader couldn’t get to. Neither base hits were hit hard (88 and 72 mph respectively).
However, Yelich then did hit one hard, shooting an up-and-away “sinker” into center that Bader reacted decisively to, scampering back a few feet then jumping to snag the liner above his head for out 1. That prompted a mound visit already from Yadi. Gulp.
Waino then got unlucky, as he induced Heston Hiura to bounce a grounder, but it went right up the middle just past the reach of a diving DeJong, and it rolled into center to score Cain. 1-0 Brewers.
Now with runners on first and second again, Waino got ahead of Moustakas 0-2 and threw a down-and-in curveball that was golfed into the right-field seats for a 3-run homer and suddenly a 4-0 lead. It wasn’t a bad pitch; actually, it wasn’t bad enough, if you know what I mean. Ugh.
Cleanup hitter Ryan Braun then hit a full-count middle-middle cutter on a hard line to Bader who raced in and seemed to have a bead on, dove forward, and missed it, as it glanced off his glove as Braun got to second. Eric Thomas then sent an easy fly ball to center that Bader got in quickly to keep the runners from advancing.
Waino then walked 8th-place hitter Orlando Arcia on what looked like an unintentional intentional pass on 5 pitches to get to the pitcher, who he struck out.
Bottom of 1st
Putting the horrid top half behind them, the Cards didn’t give up the ship and sent hitters up to bat to keep trying. Dex led off with a weak grounder to first. Kolton—hey, Kolten’s batting 2nd!—beat the shift, despite making meek contact, bouncing a slow grounder to the left of second base where Mike Shannon would’ve positioned a shortstop. Things were over before they started, though, as Goldy hit into an easy 5-4-3 around the Cape Horn.
Top of 2nd
Back to the top of the order already (see “Top of 1st” above), Waino finally retired the mutunous Cain, who flied out to Bader. After Grandal grounded out to DeJong, empty bases welcomed Yelich’s at bat. He then drew a walk on 5 pitches, only one of which was a strike (and the others were not very close) to occupy first base. Nothing came of that, however, as Waino threw a good hook that Hiura grounded to Carpenter’s backhand, who flung it to second for the force.
Bottom of 2nd
Yo, ho, ho, and an inning of none. Cleanup hitter Ozuna started the 2nd inning off by whiffing on a high, not-strike fastball after the earlier 4 pitches were all low. He obviously was confused by that. The next two batters made things way too easy for pitcher Doogie Houser, as both DeJong and Yadi grounded out softly to short, taking 3 pitches total for those two outs.
Top of 3rd
Remembering way back in the first when Moustakas hit that 3-run homer off him, Waino instead opted to walk him this time. Unfortunately, it wasn’t on the plank. Wainwright came back, however, to strike out Braun on a nice slow curve that Ryan merely watched or the first out. However, next hitter Thames ripped a double down the right-field line, making it 2nd and third, one out.
Arcia then hit a soft sinking liner that DeJong deftly gloved on a short hop, gunning him out at first, with the runner at first making it to second but the runner on third not advancing. Thankfully, the pitcher was up next, and he grounded out to Carp to prevent more scoring.
Bottom of 3rd
Every ship needs a carpenter, and the Cards’ version of one stepped in holding wood in his bare hands. His stick rested on his shoulder, however, when a third called strike zipped by up and in for out 1. Batting 8th again, Harrison Bader came up and drew a walk. Adam then got quite cheeky, squaring very early, then pulling the bat back, then squaring again on the first 2 pitches. On the third pitch, he held his batting stance then squared, letting a ball go by. He repeated that sequence but struck out.
Looking for a 2-out hit to keep things going, Dex got into one, ripping it to center, but Lorenzo Cain cruised back toward the wall and snared it, making it look easy for the third out.
Top of 4th
Hitting for the 3rd time already, Cain grounded out to short for the first out. Wainwright then got away with an elevated sub-90 fastball that Grandal skied to deep left center, but it stayed up enough for Bader to scamper to his right to snare for out 2. Yelich then got a hit he totally didn’t deserve, as he inside-outed one that rolled slowly toward third, which was unoccupied due to the shift. To rub sea salt in that wound, Hiura clunked a fliner to left that Ozuna sprinted in on but came up short and over-ran. Bader was backing him up, but Yelich already was well on his way home as Hirua arrived to second for double. 5-0 Brewers.
After a mound visit from Maddux, Waino tried to get Moustakas to fish for 3 not strikes, but he didn’t bite. So Adam then put him on first intentionally. It worked, as Braun grounded out on a sharp comebacker that Wainwright plucked with a quick flick of his glove about at his left knee, throwing him out.
Bottom of 4th
Kolten Wong led off the fourth, the owner of the only Cards’ hit on the night. He reached base again, this time on a walk. Pauly G then got good wood on one, lining it to left, but it was fool’s gold, as it was right at Braun, who unfortunately didn’t have to move much to grab. Likewise, Ozuna hit one hard and deep, this time to center, that Cain caught easily for out 2. Covering all outfield positions, DeJong lined out directly to Yelich in right for another scoreless frame.
Top of 5th
Soldiering on into the 5th despite starting it at 97 pitches, Wainwright retired Thames on a grounder to Goldschmidt who flipped to Adam, who ran down the starboard side of the diamond to cover first. He then got Arcia on a ground ball back to the mound that he snagged and tossed to first for out 2. Lastly, his counterpart Houser grounded out to Wong for the first inning without a Brewer baserunner.
Bottom of 5th
Yadier Molina led off, but didn’t get far, as he struck out swinging on an elevated 4th-pitch fastball. Upset at that, he looked like he wanted to flog himself. Carpenter then didn’t even last that long, as he struck out swinging on the same dang pitch as Yadi did. Bader then hit a seemingly harmless grounder to Moustakas, but Harry’s speed likely forced Mike to rush his throw, and he threw it wildly past first, allowing Bader to advance to second. First baseman Thames hustled after the ball, sliding in front of the camera well, flicking the ball behind him.
Yairo Munoz then stepped in to pinch-hit for Wainwright, putting Adam’s night in the ship’s log. The Brewers gifted the Cards another base runner, as Munoz got jammed badly, flipping a spinning flare toward the hole between first and second that the first baseman didn’t glove cleanly. The pitcher was late covering and Munoz likely would’ve been safe even if they had made a throw. The Official Scorer gifted him a hit.
Now with first and third and 2 out, Dex got a chance to get the Cards on the board. He came through, lining a single over the shift into right, scoring Bader, making it 5-1.
Put the ball into play... good things will happen! pic.twitter.com/NDNyEbd3KG— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) August 22, 2019
Munoz could only get to second. But he wasn’t there long on yet another gaff by Milwaukee. Munoz carelessly got an overly eager secondary lead. After the first pitch, the catcher fired toward second. Munoz was so far off, he decided to just keep going to third. As a bonus, the catcher’s bad throw went into center, allowing Munoz to score, making it 5-2 and Dexter getting to second.
Unfortunately, Kolten wasn’t able to get the 2-out RISP hit, striking out looking at a well-placed changeup.
Top of 6th
Young Junior Fernandez replaced Adam to face the top of the lineup, as Cain stepped in to lead off the inning (for the fourth time). Junior was ahead 1-2, but sailed a changeup that ran up and in and plunked Cain on the front elbow. Making things worse, Fernandez flung an errant pickoff throw past Goldy, allowing Cain to advance to second. Continuing his string of bad things, Fernandez then walked Grandal, putting runners at first and second for Yelich.
Yelich pulled a grounder to second that Kolten gloved to his left, and in one fluid motion, spun with his back to the infield and flung a strike to DeJong covering second for the force, but that was all they could get. Now with first and third and one out, Hiura lined out softly right to Pauly D, with both runners scampering back safely. Looking to escape the jam, Fernandez lost his focus, walking Moustakas on four pitches.
The Cards were really looking to get multiple innings from Fernandez, as himself, Gallegos, and Carlos were the only pitchers who did not see action in Tuesday night’s win. But that plan was looking like false hope. Now facing Braun with the bases loaded, he went to full count, but then fooled him on a nice changeup, giving a quick fist-pump off the mound.
Bottom of 6th
Goldschmidt came out swinging, as he hacked at the first pitch, lining one to right that Yelich made a nice diving play on, grabbing it on his glove side. That proved important, as next hitter Ozuna also lined one to right, but his was farther away from Yelich, producing a single. DeJong then cracked his bat, sending a soft liner up the middle that the second baseman gloved and attempted to back-hand flip it out of his mitt, but it floated short of the base, allowing Ozuna to reach second safely.
With a little rally now with first and second and one out, Yadi came through, lining one down the third-base line, scoring Ozuna, making it 5-3 now! Pauly had to stop at third, but Yadi rumbled to second, just beating the throw.
The Brewers then brought in lefty Alex Claudio to face Carpenter, who Skipper Shildt didn’t switch out. That didn’t work, as Carp struck out swinging on a sidearm inside sinker at his feet, looking bad doing so. A smattering of boos lofted from the crowd.
Harrison Bader then stepped in to attempt to cash in 2 RISP with a 2-out hit. Laying off 2 very close pitches (that I wouldn’t have scoffed at if they had been called strikes), the count went to 3-0. He then was taking, and watched a strike for a 3-1 count. He then mauled a high fastball but yanked it way foul. Now at 3-2 in this key spot, he whiffed on slider that dove out of the strike zone. Bad habits are hard to break.
Top of 7th
Fernandez returned to the mound, trying to throw the rest of the bullpen a lifeline. Going to 3-2 on Thames, he struck him out swinging on a changeup diving down and away. Aria then promptly grounded out to Kolten on the first pitch. Gamel then put a brief scare into the crowd, sending a deep fly ball to right that Dex corralled at the track for the third out.
Bottom of 7th
Lane Thomas entered to pinch-hit for Fernandez but was out quickly, as he went fishing on a high strike but foul-tipped it into the catcher’s mitt for a strikeout. Dexter did just the opposite, battling through a 9-pitch at bat to draw a walk. Wong then skied a pop-up behind home the catcher caught a few feet in front of the screen. Righty Junior Guerra was called in to face Goldschmidt, who he got on a harmless grounder to short.
Lightning and thunder surrounded Busch as some light rain started. Ominous, yo.
Top of 8th
With harder rain looming, everyone kept a weather eye out. Possibly looking to get ahead of that, the Brewers’ first two hitters came out swinging early. Lorenzo Cain swung at the first pitch, grounding out sharply to Wong. Granadal then lined out to Bader on his second pitch. Yelich, being the superstar he is, took more time, taking a 5-pitch at-bat that ended with an easy fly-out to Ozuna.
AT 9:45 CT (1O:45 ET, MY ZONE) THE SKIES OPENED, USHERING IN A RAIN DELAY.
I WENT TO BED. I’LL GET UP AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE TO FINISH THE RECAP.
...GOOD MORNING. AT 4:15AM ET, I WOKE UP TO FINISH THIS. [PULLS UP GAMEDAY]...
HUH. GAME WAS CALLED WITH NO MORE INNINGS PLAYED. CARDS LOSE RAIN-SHORTENED, YET OFFICIAL GAME 5-3.
Bottom of 8th
Top of 9th
Bottom of 9th
THE BOTTOM LINE
- The meandering Cap’n Adam took a whopping 109 pitches to circumnavigate just 5 innings. Yikes. His line: 8 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 Ks. Not good. Bad, even.
- Since July 6, tonight’s 2nd-place hitter Kolten Wong has a .450 OBP. Shildt apparently told Jim Hayes pre-game that he did so, because Edman had the night off. Wonderful.
- Yadi’s double in the 6th was his 372nd, allowing him to crack the top 10 all-time in doubles for catchers.
- The Brewers out-exit velocitied the Cards. Of the 18 batted balls over 95 mph, the Brew Crew had 11, the Cards had but 7 of them.
- The Cards had but 6 RISP. Bright side, they went 3 for 6 in those instances.
- Thanks to this loss and a Cubs wild 12-11 win over the Giants, the Cards slipped back to second, now a half-game back. The Brewers inched forward to 3.5 back.
- Tomorrow night, the Cards host the Rockies for a 4-game stint. In a 6:45 CT start in Game 1, Mikolas goes against German Marquez, whose first name belies his second.